Sermon for 2/21/16: In the Beatitude Place

Matthew 5:1-16

Scriptures follow the suggested weekly readings of Brian McLaren in We Make the Road by Walking (click here for reference and library).  We are one week behind his course in reading through the Sermon on the Mount during Lent.  Next week, we will combine chapters to be on schedule for Easter.

Petals in Lent  Photo Credit: Autumn Beveridge                                    Cambria, 2016

Petals in Lent  Photo Credit: Autumn Beveridge                                    Cambria, 2016

Sermon Notes
This week, we grounded our reflection on the opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount in the the work of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.  Click the link to see the video we watched as a congregation.  Explore the LIRS website for more video testimonials and opportunities to advocate for refugees and immigrants.  Our congregation designated this agency to receive a portion of our Christmas Eve offering.

Brian McLaren, like many a scholar and preacher before him, interprets these words of Jesus as proclamation rather than prescription.  I do to.  The emphasis is squarely on the identity of God's people, not on a program of redemption.  That's not to take a way from the call to stand in a particular place.  Refer to his chapter, A New Identity, for a closer read of the quote I offer in the sermon.  It's a helpful paraphrase of the Beatitudes in contemporary language.

Sermon for 2/14/16: Take up your body and follow me

Mark 2:1-12

This week, we return to Brian McLaren's We Make the Road by Walking following in the chapter, "Making it Real."

Lent Begins                                                                                                   Cambria 2016

Lent Begins                                                                                                   Cambria 2016

Question of the Week

My experience on Sunday tells me that the content on the sermon pushed some buttons in the congregation.  They weren't bad buttons: it's just that talking about bodies brings up a lot of stuff for people.  Did the sermon provoke in you a thought, an idea, a bodily reaction? Leave your answers here!!  

PS: This was a sermon that just brushed the tip of the iceberg for possible themes.  There were a million wrinkles and questions I couldn't address.  Again, leave these unaddressed thoughts here and continue the conversation.

The Purple Challenge

I issued a challenge to our congregation and now to you: we are taking photos of things we see in and around our lives that are purple to honor in a fun way and explore the liturgical color of the Lenten season. I start with the image of the tiny purple flower growing up at the edge of my driveway seen here. Join us and email your purple pics to or post on your Facebook page and tag Bethel Lutheran Church in Templeton.

Sermon for 2/7/16: Pray with Caution

Exodus 34:29-35 and Luke 9:28-43

This week we break from Brian McLaren's We Make the Road by Walking and dip momentarily into the Revised Common Lectionary to celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord.

February 2016

February 2016

So I'm a little behind in posting my sermons. Got some much needed rest. But I'll be caught up in the next two days.  I will not be posting my Ash Wednesday sermon, but I'll post the sermon from Valentine's Day shortly.  In the meantime, if you need a little Transfiguration rewind now that we are in Lent, take a listen!